James Bond Contender Responds To Racist Backlash To Black 007 Possibility

Frequent James Bond fan cast Idris Elba responds to the racist backlash that ensued when he became a top choice for 007. Since Daniel Craig bid farewell to the role with No Time To Die, it’s been unclear who will be next to don the tuxedo, wield the Walther PPK, and drive the Aston Martin. Elba has been a fan-favorite choice to succeed Craig since before Casino Royale actor even departed the franchise, but Elba has all but dismissed the chances of him actually taking on the role at this point in his career.


Now, in an interview on the Smartless podcast (via Express) Elba candidly reveals how the racist backlash against him soured the whole experience of potentially becoming the first Black James Bond. Check out Elba’s full comment below:

“The truth is, I was super complimented for a long time about this. James Bond… It’s one of those coveted [roles]. Being asked to be James Bond was like ‘OK, you’ve sort of reached the pinnacle’. That’s one of those things the whole world has a vote in.

“Essentially, it was a huge compliment that every corner of the world except from some corners, which we will not talk about, were really happy about the idea that I could be considered.

“Those that weren’t happy about the idea made the whole thing disgusting and off-putting, because it became about race. It became about nonsense and I got the brunt of it.”

Related: After All The Talk, It’s Good Idris Elba Won’t Be The Next James Bond

Could The Next James Bond Be Black?

Rege-Jean Page as Carmichael in The Gray Man

Addressing rumors that he could be the next Bond, Elba said last year that it wasn’t “a goal for [his] career” and that playing 007 doesn’t currently align with his ambitions as an actor. Bond producer Barbara Broccoli would subsequently address Elba’s comments, making clear that she understood his hesitancy about the role because of the big time commitment required. Being Bond, she explains, essentially requires a “10-12 year commitment” at minimum.

Even if Elba was directly pursuing the role, then, the fact that he’s now 50 years old means he’s basically aged out at this point. While Elba may now be firmly out of the running, there’s certainly no reason why a different Black actor could take it on. As of this writing, however, most of the top stars most favored for the role by pundits are white, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Henry Cavill, James Norton, and Richard Madden.

Regé-Jean Page is also generally in the conversation about becoming the next 007, joining the likes of Sope Dirisu, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. All three of Black these actors, however, aren’t really seen as clear frontrunners at the moment. Despite this, Broccoli has described the 26th James Bond as a “total reinvention,” suggesting that now could be the perfect time to shake up tradition and introduce a Black 007 for the first time.

Source: Smartless (via Express)

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